When I was 13 years old, I was raped.
I remember what happened quite vividly, though I would prefer to forget. I have tried, countless times, to block out the memory, but it’s always there. behind every laugh, and every smile, I can smell the stench of alochol on a dirty shirt, feel the sweat of a stranger on my skin. I can feel him watching me from the back of my mind, with that hungry intent, driven by the anger he felt.
I remember all the moments leading up to that point: kissing my mother goodbye, skipping and humming- thinking about the boy I liked who sat two people ahead of me in english- David. I imagined running my fingers though his curly, black hair, and kissing each of the light brown freckles on his face. I smiled and went to school, groaned about the homework, laughed with my friend Emily at lunch, and went to her house after school, to ride bikes and sneak her brother’s CD player to listen to music that we liked, but it had a lot of bad words in it.
Then I walked home. By this time it was around 7:30-ish, and I was singing, quietly, one of the songs I had heard on the CD. I remember thinking to myself that my voice was pretty awful, and that I should never become a singer. It was eerily quiet, very few people out and about, but I was not a girl who was easily frightened. After all, I was 13 and invincible.
I crossed the street, and ran into a large man who seemed to appear from the shadows, who smelled so awful I could only assume he was a homeless man. In the dim streetlight, I could not see him very well, but his hair was thin and tangled, his face, unshaven and seemed to have a thick layer of dirt encrusted into his face. He looked at my face with a strange look, almost like he was contemplating, calculating…
“Excuse me,” I said trying to be poilite, side-stepping the frightening man, to continue on my way.
Then he grabbed my arm. I cried out in terror and he covered my mouth with such a foul-smelling cloth, every breath was a struggle. My heart pounded in my head, and he shoved me back to an alleyway where he forced me onto the ground. I thrashed my arms and kicked my legs, cried and begged him just to let me go, but he only kicked me in the stomach and told me one more sound and he would kill me. He pulled from his deep coat pockets a rusty pair of scissors. I saw them gleam menacingly in the gray light filtering through the dusty alleyway.
Then I realized it. He didn’t want to kill me. He would have killed me sooner. I came to the realization, and I lost all air from my lungs, all sight, hearing, and feeling was gone, and I crawled back into the tiniest part within me, to shield myself from the pain.
He would rape me. As soon as those words were processed within my head, that was the moment I accepted it. There was nothing I could do, but I tried anyway. My eyesight blurry from tears I struggled. I fought.
He reached for my zipper, I weakly pushed his hands away, and quietly whispered for him to stop. Please, I said. Please, please, stop.
He pulled my jeans down to my ankles, my underwear with it. I saw my flowery undergarments, the ones I had begged my mother not to buy, “because they are too childish”, I had decided. It was laundry day today, it was the only pair I had left.
I looked at his face- Into his eyes. he climbed on top of me, his pants gone. in that final moment, he looked at my face. He almost seemed apologetic, he looked at me with sorrow, pain, and pity.
“I’m sorry I’m doing this to you, but I have to, I just have to…” his eyes said, but then all the rage came back, and all of his apologies were nothing, this man stole from me, he ripped my innocence away, with no ceremonies or second-thought. With no regrets, he raped me.
And that was that.